Playwrights Guild of Canada uses the Play Distribution Program to distribute scripts on behalf of our members and the publishers of their work. This distribution occurs through our online store, the Canadian Play Outlet. Through this program, we seek to make published and unpublished plays by Canadian playwrights available to interested producers, schools, actors and more, both nationally and internationally.
If you are ready to submit a script to our Play Distribution Program, please begin the submission process below.
If you have questions about PGC’s Play Distribution Program, please see the FAQs below, or email email@example.com
Begin the Submission Process Here!
The following form is for new submissions as well as revisions to plays that are already in our collection.
Has your script been professionally produced?
What makes a production professional?
Generally speaking, a production is considered professional if the involved artists were contracted and paid according to industry rates (as set by CAEA, PGC, ADC, and so forth). Community theatre and school productions are considered amateur and/or semi-professional, but not professional. Theatre companies that are members of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) are considered professional.
Beyond that, what is considered professional can be slippery and difficult to grasp, as with Fringe Festival scenarios, so if in doubt, please call the office.
Questions to ask for further clarity: Was the playwright paid with royalties (rather than an honorarium)? Were CAEA performers contracted? Was there a charge for admission? If the answer to these three questions is yes, then chances are, you are describing a professional production.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for the Play Distribution Program?
Full PGC members can submit their plays to either the Copyscript or the Stage Ready program streams. Copyscripts are plays that have received a professional production, and upon submission to the Play Distribution Program will receive an ISBN.
Supporting or Student PGC members can only submit to the Stage Ready program, for plays that have not yet received a professional production.
I have self-published a paperback book. Can I distribute it through this program?
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how to sell self-published books through the Canadian Play Outlet on a consignment basis.
How are royalties handled for plays in the program?
Digital Copyscripts: Current PGC members receive 25% of each sale of each of their digital scripts through the Canadian Play Outlet. Playwrights whose memberships have lapsed receive a 10% royalty.
Consignment: For paperback books that have been self-published, PGC will sell these books through the CPO website and in-person store with the playwright receiving 60% of the sale, and PGC retaining 40%.
For all script sales, PGC pays royalties to creators when the creator has reached a minimum of $20 in earnings by the end of a fiscal year. If the creator has not reached the minimum $20 in earnings by that time, the earned amount “rolls over” to the next fiscal year. This continues until the playwright has earned at least $20 in royalties or after three (3) fiscal years, at which time any royalties held by PGC are paid out, regardless of dollar amount. PGC’s Program Manager will be in touch to let you know when a royalty payment will be paid out to you.
Does submitting my script to the copyscript program provide copyright protection?
Copyright is automatically bestowed as soon as a creator fixes their work in a tangible form (meaning it is saved on a hard drive, etc. which provides proof of date of creation).
Enrolling plays in this program provides an extra layer of protection. If the script has been professionally produced, it receives an ISBN, so it is registered with the government (which is one method of proving date of ownership). The extra layer of protection isn’t as strong for Stage Ready scripts, since they aren’t registered with the government, but they are registered with us, so we can help provide copyright ownership dates.
For those seeking absolute proof of copyright, you can have your work registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) for a $50 fee. A certificate of ownership is issued, and it can be used in a court of law to prove copyright. To do that, and to read up on copyright, visit: http://www.cipo.gc.ca
How do I submit a revision for a script that is currently being distributed through the program?
If you’d like to make any changes to a script that you’ve submitted to our collection, you’re in the right place! Respond to the question above regarding whether your script has or has not received a professional production, and when prompted, select “Submit a Revision” instead of “Submit a New Play”.
All revisions must be submitted in this way, as the completion of the form gives PGC the permission it requires to distribute scripts on your behalf. Please do not email revised versions of scripts.
How do I remove a script that is currently being distributed through the program?
Playwrights must email the Program Manager at email@example.com if they would like their script removed from the Canadian Play Outlet. In general, digital scripts are not removed when a playwright’s membership lapses.
What does PGC do to sell scripts?
We are always looking for new ways to increase your script’s visibility. When a script is newly submitted to the CPO, we feature it on the home page of the website, on social media and in our community and member newsletters. We include plays in curated collections on the CPO website for individuals searching for specific themes, and have employed an advanced search function on the website to make plays searchable by cast size, run time, genre, etc.
In 2020, we also introduced a Sample Script Program, which allows producers and teachers to request sample copies of digital scripts that they are considering for classroom use or for a production. You can read more about that program here.
You can help by sharing the link to your play with your own friends, family and followers. It really does make a difference!
Sell your play at the Canadian Play Outlet!
The Canadian Play Outlet is PGC’s book store that sells published and unpublished plays by our members online and in store.